A heart scan (coronary calcium scan) is a computed tomography (CT) imaging technique used to take pictures of the heart's arteries. It can detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, which can narrow them and increase the risk of a heart attack. The scan provides images of the coronary arteries that show existing calcium deposits, also known as calcifications. These deposits are an early sign of coronary artery disease.Coronary calcification occurs when calcium builds up in plaque found in the walls of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.
The presence of coronary calcification may be an early sign of coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack. Calcium deposits in the peripheral arteries of the legs and arms or pelvis can cause symptoms such as numbness in the legs, tingling sensation in the affected area, and muscle pain and spasms.A coronary calcium scan is a better predictor of coronary events than cholesterol testing or other risk factor evaluations.
Coronary artery calcificationis a build-up of calcium in the two main arteries of the heart, also called coronary arteries. During the healing process, calcium and other substances begin to be deposited on the lining of the arterial wall.
And 35 percent of people considered to be at high risk had no calcium in their coronary arteries and therefore had a lower risk of heart events.In fact, fifteen percent of people who had a very low risk using traditional risk factors had high coronary artery calcium scores. Plaque made up of fat, calcium, and other substances can build up and narrow or close arteries. In the case of calcium blockage in the artery that supplies blood to the brain, symptoms are dizziness, difficulty speaking, memory loss, weakness in the hands and legs, sudden and severe headache, and difficulty maintaining balance. The lower your calcium score and percentile range, the less likely you are to have a cardiac episode compared to other men or women your age.The doctor may use the calcium score to assess the risk of plaque build-up, known as atherosclerosis.
In medical terminology, these deposits of calcium and fatty material in the arteries are called atherosclerosis. Researchers can't find the exact cause of calcium deposits in the arteries, but they have concluded that certain factors are the primary cause. This simple, non-invasive test uses a CT scan to measure the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries.